Letter from the Pastor for Passiontide

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Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Dear Friends,

“...and Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.” (John 8:59)

These are the last words of the Gospel passage for this 5th Sunday of Lent in the Extraordinary Form.  Today, with the Universal Church, we enter the holiest time of the year. We begin our walk with Our Lord through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. But, at this point, he remains hidden from us as in the Gospel account. This year, we might especially feel Our Lord hiding himself.

The sacred images in our churches are now veiled. We cannot even see the figure of Christ on the Cross. He is hidden even while He is in our midst.

My dear brothers and sisters, the veil which separates us from Christ has many meanings.  It is a symbol which is “ever ancient and ever new.” In our own time, we think of our circumstances during this pandemic—our physical distance from the Sacraments, the closed churches. But we do well also to consider our distance from God—because of our weaknesses, our sins, distractions that keep us from prayer, and all too often our lack of faith.

Although Our Lord may be hidden from us for various reasons, we have the ability to seek Him with renewed hope knowing that in the coming days of Holy Week the veil will be torn, top to bottom, allowing us to see into the Holy of Holies, which is the Heart of Jesus.

The observance of the Faith by our parishioners at home during this time inspires our own family, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, while we live the Faith in our houses in Volo, Springfield, and Chicago.

We are grateful to so many who join us via live broadcast to pray and to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even from people from around the world. We are grateful also to the faithful who give their Sunday gifts online or by mail, which allows us to continue consistent service and to meet the needs of the faithful in these challenging times.

Be assured of the prayers of the priests and brothers for all of you as we offer the Holy Sacrifice and pray the Divine Office daily for our faithful, families, city, and the entire Church. Do not hesitate to contact us with any prayer requests or needs you may have from us.

Sincerely in Christ,

Very Rev. Joshua Caswell, SJC

Video Message from the Pastor

A special message to the faithful of the parishes of the Canons Regular as we live our faith during Lent and Holy Week in our homes and away from our parish during the COVID-19 Pandemic.